Evaluation of students' knowledge about paediatric dosage calculations.

Özyazıcıoğlu N., Aydın A. İ., Sürenler S., Gökdere Çinar H., Yılmaz D., Arkan B., ...More

Nurse education in practice, vol.28, pp.34-39, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.nepr.2017.09.013
  • Journal Name: Nurse education in practice
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.34-39
  • Keywords: Paediatrics, Nursing students, Dosage calculations, Risk management, Drug calculations, Problem solving, Numeracy skills, NURSING-STUDENTS, MEDICATION ERRORS, REGISTERED NURSES, SKILLS
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Medication errors are common and may jeopardize the patient safety. As paediatric dosages are calculated based on the child's age and weight, risk of error in dosage calculations is increasing. In paediatric patients, overdose drug prescribed regardless of the child's weight, age and clinical picture may lead to excessive toxicity and mortalities while low doses may delay the treatment. This study was carried out to evaluate the knowledge of nursing students about paediatric dosage calculations. This research, which is of retrospective type, covers a population consisting of all the 3rd grade students at the bachelor's degree in May, 2015 (148 students). Drug dose calculation questions in exam papers including 3 open ended questions on dosage calculation problems, addressing 5 variables were distributed to the students and their responses were evaluated by the researchers. In the evaluation of the data, figures and percentage distribution were calculated and Spearman correlation analysis was applied. Exam question on the dosage calculation based on child's age, which is the most common method in paediatrics, and which ensures right dosages and drug dilution was answered correctly by 87.1% of the students while 9.5% answered it wrong and 3.4% left it blank. 69.6% of the students was successful in finding the safe dose range, and 79.1% in finding the right ratio/proportion. 65.5% of the answers with regard to Ml/dzy calculation were correct. Moreover, student's four operation skills were assessed and 68.2% of the students were determined to have found the correct answer. When the relation among the questions on medication was examined, a significant relation (correlation) was determined between them. It is seen that in dosage calculations, the students failed mostly in calculating ml/dzy (decimal). This result means that as dosage calculations are based on decimal values, calculations may be ten times erroneous when the decimal point is placed wrongly. Moreover, it is also seen that students lack maths knowledge in respect of four operations and calculating safe dose range. Relations among the medications suggest that a student wrongly calculating a dosage may also make other errors. Additional courses, exercises or utilisation of different teaching techniques may be suggested to eliminate the deficiencies in terms of basic maths knowledge, problem solving skills and correct dosage calculation of the students. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.